1.3 Creatively exploring your process

The purpose of this exercise was to explore a new creative process that involved conducting a rapid visual experiment using a set of predefined process steps.

Key words from the brief:

  • Use an existing piece of graphic design, illustration or art as a starting point. 
  • See this as a short exercise 
  • Use the following prompts [see below] to start developing visual ideas in your sketchbook. Each prompt might represent 5–10 minutes of creative activity 
  • Aim to fail and learn 
  • Circle your best three ideas
  • Reflect on the experience 
  • How do you integrate research, convergent and divergent thinking and critique into your process?

Approach

The images were made in response to the following prompts:

  • Define it
  • Make it bold
  • Let’s look at the real thing
  • Introduce time, motion and sound
  • What is the key moment?
  • Create a variation
  • Connect play, fantasies and daydreams
  • Combine seemingly arbitrary content
  • Erase the distinctions between original and copy
  • Consider again your motivation
  • Make it obvious
  • Make it ambiguous
  • Remind yourself
  • Bounce around at speed
  • ‘We’ve got a problem, Houston’

The illustrations were produced in sequence. Each image was made across two pages of an A3 sketchbook using combinations of different media.

Each A3 page was scanned and then ‘stitched’ together in Photoshop.

Using a predefined process to create images was explored and developed during Visual Exploration, so the technique was familiar, although the method that used random prompts was new.

My starting point for the first image were two postcards of paintings that I had on my wall:

  • Girl with a kitten (1947) Lucian Freud
  • Comfort (2017) Paul Rego

All of the images were created over five consecutive days. Most of them took between 10 and 15-mins to make, although the pen and ink drawings took a bit longer.

I didn’t think about what I was trying to create with the exception of the street image which feels over done and is the least successful picture.

Outputs

Define it, Make it bold and Let’s look at the real thing – three prompts overlaid onto the same image
Introduce time, motion and sound
What is the key moment
Create a variation
Connect play, fantasies and daydreams
Combine seemingly arbitrary content
Erase the distinctions between original and copy
Consider again your motivation
Make it obvious
Make it ambiguous
Remind yourself
Remind yourself
Bounce around at speed
‘We’ve got a problem, Houston’

Reflections

It is interesting that the lose and random nature of the brief allowed me to respond in a less considered more ‘genuine’ way.

Some of the images are quite surprising and unlike anything I’ve produced before for example the two ‘Remind yourself’ illustrations. The text for these were randomly chosen from Nexus: The Rosy Crucifixion, a novel by Henry Miller.

The images made using collage were all created from old artwork that I have piled up in my studio.